by Tony Lee
A lot of interesting news has crossed my desk in the past year. As a class we have a lot of unusual interests, hobbies and quirky pursuits, and I've enjoyed reading and reporting on them.
Chris Getman and a friend are on an odyssey to visit every major-league baseball park. To date they have made 39, and in the course of their travels have attended games with George Humphrey and Chip Brennan, and sat in Bob Dayton's seats in Minneapolis. This year they visited Tampa Bay, which they ranked the worst place to watch a game, and Atlanta which ranked among the best. In Atlanta they sat with John Howells and Bob Semisch. Chris writes, "Fortunately neither has matured much in the 35 plus years since graduation so we had a great time swapping stories and exaggerating myths. The Beast (John) came up with the classic when he noted that his daughter was being married on the Saturday after the Sunday game we attended. As one who has held three weddings I was astonished that he was allowed to eat hot dogs and drink beer so close to such a momentous event as his first daughter's wedding."
Chris also went to Mike Price's Art Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston for the opening of an artist friend: "It was really fun, and she sold most of her paintings. I didn't realize that if you buy something you're supposed to leave it on the wall, so when we were leaving I grabbed the painting we'd bought and headed for the door. You should have seen the aghast looks on the faces of the others there. It was priceless. Hey, what the hell do I know, I'm just a hick from New Haven. Incidentally, the hot dogs and beer that Mike served at the opening do not compare with those at Jacobs Field in Cleveland."
The New York Times recently ran an article on the efforts of Tyler Smith and Smith Edwards Architects to accomplish a balanced development of a 650-acre corporate headquarters site in Bloomfield, CT. Tyler has enlisted the support of Robert Stern, the dean of the Yale School of Architecture, and David Childs, Yale '63 and Skidmore Owings & Merrill, to establish the grounds, sculptures and buildings as historically significant. The proposed master plan which would convert most of the site into a golf course, hotel and conference center was designed by Elkus/Manfredi, the firm Jeremy Wood works for in Boston. You can read the complete article and view a handsome picture of Tyler on our Web site.
Proud papa Jon Wallman reports: "It is with great pride that I announce the birth, on April 24, 2000, of my third daughter and fourth child, Sara Wallman. I read in the Alumni Magazine of my classmates' planned or actual retirements, and I can hardly relate. I now have three small children, the oldest of whom will be 7 later this month. Retirement isn't even on my radar screen." Jon enjoys telecommuting for PeopleSoft out of his historic townhouse in Old Town Alexandria.
John Richards lives in New York where he has just finished a stint as Chair of the Chemistry Dept. at Lehman College, City University of New York, and is now glad to be back to full-time teaching and research.
I had a nice exchange of emails and a long phone call with Tony Morris. Tony has recently left Kajima Construction where he was a project manager for the past 17 years. He is now a writer and photographer for the local newspaper in Topanga, CA, covering hard news and writing feature stories. Topanga is in the Santa Monica mountains and Tony describes it as a true oasis in the frantic LA area. Tony has been writing about the need to have permanent fire-fighting aircraft in Los Angeles County. He specifically advocates purchasing a Canadian turbo prop, known as the Super Scooper, and overhauling current obsolete fire fighting techniques.
Peter Yerkes writes: "While classmates report on their offsprings' grad school grades and weddings, I'm living happily in a world of 'N Sync, Sim City and Pokemon, thanks to daughter Isabel, 12, and son Harry, 10. The children have gotten old enough for my wife Liberty, whom I started dating while a senior in Ezra Stiles, to go back to school this fall to get a Master's degree in the history of decorative arts.
"I work with the New York/New Jersey media on behalf of the of the Port Authority, which operates the World Trade Center, Kennedy and Newark airports and other facilities. One of the great pleasures of the job was attending a recent lunch hosted by classmate Angus Gillespie, to mark publication of his new book, Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center. It was quite wonderful to meet Angus' guests — the people who had actually designed and built this Manhattan landmark, moving earth, putting up structural steel, and making it possible for us to sit in a private dining room on the 107th floor with sun streaming in and New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty far below. To me, working in the Trade Center and knowing something about the formidable technical difficulties surrounding its construction, it was a bit like meeting the people who built the Eiffel Tower, or the Duomo. During lunch Angus regaled us with anecdotes from his book, a highly entertaining look at the story-behind-the-story of this extraordinary feat of engineering and urban development."